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Postal Service cuts mail delivery to five days starting in August

Beginning in August 2013, the United States Postal Service will change its mail delivery schedule to Monday through Friday in an effort to cut costs. Package delivery will still be available Monday through Saturday.

The change expects to save the USPS around $2 billion annually.

The new delivery schedule will go into effect during the week of Aug. 5, when packages will be delivered six days a week, while regular mail will be delivered five.

“The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, in a press release. “We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings.”

Starting in August, mail delivery to street addresses will happen Monday through Friday. Mail to P.O. boxes will continue to be delivered on Saturdays. Post offices that are currently open on Saturdays will remain open on those days.

While mail such as letters, bills, cards and catalogs will no longer be put into mailboxes on Saturdays, packages, mail-order medicine and express mail will still be delivered.

In late January, the cost of stamps went up to 46 cents in an effort to help raise revenue, but Donahoe estimated that the Postal Service was losing roughly $25 million a day.

For several years, the USPS has advocated changing both package and mail delivery to just five days a week, but strong growth in package delivery, seeing a 14 percent volume increase since 2010, and continued projections for strong growth in package mailing revised the approach.

“Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” said Donahoe. “As consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services — especially due to the rise of e-commerce — we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.”

The announcement comes more than six months ahead of the delivery change to give residential and business customers time and plan and adjust. The USPS will publish specific guidance in coming months.

Since 2006, the Postal Service has worked to reduce its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion. While the change in delivery will help reduce costs, which aims to restore the financial health of the organization, USPS officials say legislative action is still needed.

“The Postal Service continues to seek legislation to provide it with greater flexibility to control costs and generate new revenue and encourages the 113th Congress to make postal reform legislation an urgent priority,” said the press release. “The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”

To learn more, visit the USPS website.

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